Chilemba-mania rocks Malawi

By Peter Kanjere

When Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba take on Anthony Bellew at Echo Arena, Liverpool this Saturday in a WBC final light heavyweight eliminator, Malawi will certainly be at a stand still. Chilemba, 25, is Malawian but relocated to South Africa in 2003, hence the immense attention in the South East African nation ahead of Saturday’s twelve-rounder.

“He is our own and we will be partying after his win. I am talking about winning because there is no way this guy [Bellew] from England can defeat Isaac,” Chilemba’s cousin George said from the commercial city of Blantyre last Wednesday.

As a teenager, Chilemba fought in the amateur ranks at the Blantyre Youth Centre after boxing coach Andson Kazembe spotted him playing football with his peers. Understandably, ahead of the fight Malawi press has been awash with previews.

Malawian sports journalist Gomezgani Zakazaka also expects Isaac Chilemba’s win, arguing “if there was a fight that scared me to hell, it was against Edson Miranda…not this one. Malawi is fully behind Chilemba.”

Malawi Boxing Association general secretary Arthur Nanthuru declared the fight as make or break for Isaac Chilemba (18-1-1, 9 KOs). “But, as you know, he’s incapable of disappointing. I’m sure he will make us proud once more as he gets closer and closer to a title shot,” Nanthuru said on Tuesday.

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